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Welfare Kings

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    Posted: 08 April 2019 at 9:09am
Just shaking my head at this one.
















Edited by Chuck Laughridge - 08 April 2019 at 3:05pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Get Bowed Up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2019 at 9:38am
Funny, but not at all funny, I recieved a phone call Saturday from a pier owner who hasn't seen a dime from his insurance company. With a disaster, any bump to help get anyone back on their feet is fine by me. Wish as much time was spent getting funds for rec interests. Damn shame.

Edited by Get Bowed Up - 13 April 2019 at 1:47am
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Leeches on society. Not unlike the striper stocking fiasco. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2019 at 1:16pm
Yep, I would be much relieved if we all were responsible for our own welfare. The challenge for this state would be for officials to refrain from making promises to favored, selected groups to guarantee income wrested from the backs of the working people who suffer highly from being mulcted in taxes. The state's tradition of theft for aggrandizement processes monies stolen from taxpayers to further the cause of anti-resource welfare fishermen, who we, of course, owe a living because they are friends of the legislators who need conflicts of interest to hold sway, because the regulatory capture of the coast extends in concentric circles through the body politic. The disruption of this system would be a most direct route toward SOCIAL JUSTICE, as productive people would be free of the larcenous greed of the industry that claims to supply but mostly defrauds. Where are the independent minded fishermen who loath theft and would choose conservation of the productivity of our resource rather than the ones who threaten and fight over the scraps the "influencers" have left them? How come these people support the same favored operators who have been actively destroying the small fisherman's position in the middle class, which for most of our society is being destroyed as well. By republicans and democrats,I might add.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boxer dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2019 at 8:59am
BUYING VOTES !
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Thanks for your position statement, Bowed! It raptly hammers home your notion of justice lay in the government bailing people out of their life choices, for which most of us are justly and by dint of NATURE, responsible for ourselves, while you and the political establishment have steadily had it baked in that the government's responsibility is to reward bad decisions and favored groups with largesse from the stolen taxes of average people. Yes, the pier owner who payed for insurance may well be getting hung out to dry by that insurance company, which may deserve to be publicly flayed in the media, etc for its refusal to fulfill its contract with the pier owner, but the constitutionally illiterate push of the idea that if you were King, you'd disburse funds to pet groups merely cements your feet in the American political walk of shame, while resourcefulness, personal responsibility, and using one's own money and intellect make for a strong and decent populace. The idea that ascension to a post of power means you have the means to erase loss and stupidity in favored constituents is a major reason we are f--ked mentally and philosophically as a people, and being doubled down on as a state of citizens by our tinpots. Where is the intelligent class of people who might represent a strong citizenry that accepts no financial shenanigans in the political spoils system we slave under today? In the Republican Party? I bet not one damn swinging log in the GA knows the story of the farmer and Daniel Webster(forgive me for showcasing a Yankee lawyer) wherein the farmer most adeptly teaches, through example, how, to become the distributor of favors means the government becomes the arbiter of success, and the holder of tyrannical power. Where, amongst Democrats, do you see any intimation that an individual can be granted the essential level of sovereignty the framers were brilliantly in tune to accentuate, fully cognizant with why no politician should be held in sway by his ability to divert funds. The political class yearns only for power. We need literate citizens to represent the independence of individuals to determine the trajectory of their own lives, not the cadre of influence peddlers who machinate for the reinstitution of their own power under the guise of the commonweal, while in reality shifting funds to their own ends, as does the cashier who appropriates bills from the cash drawer for his own use. The mere fact we have to get around the kleptocracy which much of the public has come to LOVE is as much a death knell for freedom and economic health. The kleptocracy is part and parcel of status quo. Not really picking on you , Bowed, but you bring up a huge point with that bleat that taxes accrue as the slush fund of the political darling in a disaster. Jesus and God may pass out blessings for the good of the world, but politicians do it purely for self-interest. Get money for rec interests? How about just the simple justice of managing the resource for maximum productivity for all, and let the chips fall where they may? Dismantle the spoils system in fisheries and in government generally. Yeah, right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Get Bowed Up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2019 at 4:01pm
I personally view (at least our piers) as they are major access points for Recreational fishers, any assistance from the state would be an investment back into something that generates tax revenue. Piers are where almost everyone I know started fishing, people stay in a certain areas every year to fish on X pier. Heck just about every other tourism advertisement I see on FB is a picture on, under, or next to a pier.

It's the same rationale for proper funding into the management/science of a shared public resource, it's an investment into the use and economic benefit of current and future generations.




Edited by Get Bowed Up - 13 April 2019 at 1:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2019 at 4:37pm

...so what happens when the state fails to manage the fishery in a way to attract anglers to our ocean piers and decreased public demand no longer supports private investment?

What is the true cost of inshore trawling?


RALEIGH — Aside from jobs, the economy, and government spending, transparency and open government have concerned voters during this election cycle. Everyone from the governor to school board candidates has promised more sunshine, more disclosure, and more restraint. But will we see it? Sometimes real disclosure hides behind half-truths and shadows. Many of us could support a government that was open, honest, and trustworthy. Unfortunately, we haven’t had it in North Carolina. The story of Jennette’s Pier is an example of legislation that is not as open as it should be.

Built in 1939 by the Jennette family, Jennette’s Pier is the oldest fishing pier in North Carolina. It has been rebuilt, repaired, and renovated many times over the years after sustaining hurricane and storm damage. It remained in private hands until 2003, when the N.C. Aquarium Society bought it and then turned it over to the taxpayers of North Carolina after it was severely damaged by Hurricane Isabel.

Three months into the 2009-10 session of the N.C. General Assembly, House Bill 628 passed unanimously authorizing the expenditure of $25 million to rebuild Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. The bill was proposed and supported by northeast coastal representatives, including House Rules Chairman Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, Rep. Tim Spear, D-Washington, and Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare.

Members were assured the money would come from “existing funds” and not require any new spending. With record unemployment and the Nags Head area hit especially hard, the bill promised over 1,800 new jobs and a $14 million benefit to the area. It sounded good, and the bill passed unanimously in both chambers. But was the information that the legislators based their vote on accurate?

The General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division usually provides fiscal analysis legislators depend on when considering spending bills, “but did not provide those numbers to the members who sponsored the legislation, and neither did [they] prepare a fiscal note.” The budget department of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources who were authorized to spend the money didn’t provide the numbers, either. Nope. The number of jobs and economic benefit promises came from Clancy and Theys, the construction company that got the contract to rebuild the pier.

When asked about the status of the jobs created, Clancy and Theys said things had changed since the project was approved. It was no longer about creating jobs. (There were none created.) It was now about saving jobs. But when asked how many jobs had been saved, a representative said the company didn’t keep a log of that. When asked for an update on the promised $14 million economic benefit, he explained that Clancy and Theys was simply a construction company bidding on a job. So, no jobs and no economic benefit.

Basnight and others claimed the project would “jump-start” the area’s economy. Dare County unemployment was 6.2 percent in July 2009 when construction on the project started, and, after a year of construction activity, unemployment rose to 6.3 percent by July 2010 — hardly a jump-start to the area’s economy.

What about the cost of the project?

The bill says the project will be “funded with receipts or from other non-General Fund sources” and will cost $25 million. Funds will be transferred from a 2006 stormwater pilot project that hasn’t been used and any federal stimulus money that might be available.

Where has the money actually come from? Some $2.3 million was taken out of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which was supposed “to clean up impaired waters and protect remaining pristine waters of the state.” Supporters took $1.5 million from Water Access and Marine Industry projects, which the General Assembly funded in 2007 “to acquire waterfront properties or develop facilities for the purpose of providing, improving, and/or developing public and commercial waterfront access.” In 2006, $15 million in taxpayers’ money went into a stormwater pilot project to clean up ocean outfalls and outlets, but $10.6 million was used instead for the Jennette’s Pier project. Almost all of the receipts from the Aquarium Admissions Fund, $10.5 million, will go to rebuild the pier. (This allocation cleans this fund out, shortchanging the three N.C. aquariums at Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, and Fort Fisher). The Aquarium Society, which owned the pier before the 2003 Hurricane Isabel damage, donated $400,000 to the project.

There are currently 18 piers in North Carolina. Seventeen are owned and operated by individuals, some by families for several generations. One is owned by the government: The City of Oak Island purchased Oak Island Pier for $1.7 million in 2009 (a year when the city’s debt increased by 132 percent, in large part because of the pier purchase, followed by an 18 percent property tax increase in June 2010). When it opens in May 2011, Jennette’s Pier will be the only pier owned by the state of North Carolina. Is owning a pier a core function of government, or is that better left to the free market? Could those funds be spent better on education or public safety, or, better yet, returned to the taxpayers?

The $25 million project to rebuild Jennette’s Pier made claims of jobs and benefits that haven’t been met, and how the project was going to be funded was not disclosed. The state shouldn’t be in the pier business. The Jennette’s Pier bill is just an example of how business has been done at the North Carolina General Assembly.

In 1913, the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” With a new General Assembly to be elected next week and set to take over in 2011, here’s a piece of advice: No more murky pier projects. Stick to the core function of government. Let the sun shine on all you do.


http://www.coastalreview.org/2014/06/jennettes-pier-fishing-for-answers/

NAGS HEAD — North Carolina was lauded in 2003 for helping save historic Jennette’s Pier from developers. Now with a provision in the state House budget, some lawmakers seem to want to sell the pier.

As it is now, the proposed state House budget, which includes a provision to investigate sale of the completely rebuilt state attraction, would require that the three-year-old pier be sold at fair market value, with the proceeds going to the state Clean Water Management Trust Fund.


The massive Jennette’s Pier cost more than $26 million to renovate after Hurricane Isabel in 2003 nearly demolished the old wooden pier built in 1939. Photo: Jennette’s Pier

The Jennette’s provision was absent from the governor’s and Senate’s versions of the budget. Meetings to reconcile the different spending plans passed by the House and Senate started last week.

The latest twist in Jennette’s long history of close calls, destruction and revival was a complete surprise to nearly everyone. The partisan politics feeding the proposal, however, date back to at least 2010.

“The first time anyone heard of it was when the House budget came out,” state Rep. Paul Tine, a Kitty Hawk Democrat, said last week. “I was disappointed to see it in there, because it’s a public beach access right now. Which in private hands, it might not be.”

Tine had the original provision amended to include the market value restriction and a requirement that any sale would have to cover the state’s full investment of $25 million and Dare County’s and Nags Head’s shares of $700,000 and $300,000 respectively along with peripheral costs.

Tine said it that the genesis of the House provision is unclear, and he declined to speculate.

Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, co-chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources, said last week that the House was interested in finding sources to boost funding to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, according to WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

It was a trust fund grant that helped fund the pier. That grant, the pier itself and its biggest champion, former state Sen. Marc Basnight, a Manteo Democrat, have been targets of criticism from state Republicans for years.
More than 10 years ago, with the pier at risk of being demolished and replaced by a hotel or luxury homes, the N.C. Aquarium Society, the nonprofit support arm of the state’s three aquariums, helped by Basnight’s considerable political muscle, bought the pier, the attached pier house and 5.12 acres of mostly oceanfront property for $4.2 million, tapping a $4.6 million grant from the trust fund.  The plan, which included a later stormwater project, was to rehabilitate the site to use as an extension of the state aquarium on Roanoke Island and later transfer it to the state. By summer, the pier house was renovated and reopened with exhibits.

But the pier’s luck didn’t hold. Within six months of the purchase, Hurricane Isabel tore off 500 feet of the 1939 wooden pier, leaving an akimbo stub on the end of the pier house. The state regrouped and decided to build a new hurricane-resistant pier focused on educational opportunities, green energy and public access. Jennette’s was transferred to the state aquariums in 2007.


Bob Edwards

Rep. Paul Tine

Initially, the project – a 1,000-foot concrete pier, a pier house with a 200-seat multi-purpose room and a bathhouse with showers — was estimated to cost $14 million. It also included three wind turbines, cisterns, solar panels and other green features. But when construction bids in early 2009 came in nearly double that amount, the plan was scaled back. That year, the project secured $25 million in funds that were originally available for state Department of Transportation stormwater projects in Dare County.

It wasn’t long before Republican unhappiness with Jennette’s bubbled to the surface.

“Is owning a pier a core function of government or is that better left to the free market?” Becki Gray, vice president for outreach with the John Locke Foundation, a conservative policy group in Raleigh, wrote in the Oct. 29, 2010, edition of the foundation’s Carolina Journal Online. “Could those funds be spent better on education or public safety, or, better yet, returned to taxpayers? . . .  The state shouldn’t be in the pier business.”

In the 2010 N.C. Senate campaign, Basnight, then the incumbent and the longtime Senate president, had a rare reelection fight on his hands when the state Republican Party launched a mail campaign with flyers that attacked his funding of Jennette’s Pier and falsely linked the project to teacher layoffs.

The opposition also accused Basnight of benefiting from the project because Basnight Construction, a family-owned business run by his cousin, had been one of the minor subcontractors.

Hood Richardson, Basnight’s Republican opponent, did not generate the flyers. But he understood some of the criticism.  “I think what bothers people about Jennette’s Pier is it brings people by his restaurant,” Richardson said in an Oct. 2010 article in The Virginian-Pilot, referring to Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café, located a short distance from the pier. “Whether he did anything or not, there’s an appearance of evil.”

Basnight had responded to the critics that month in a double-sided letter to constituents, saying that the pier had been authorized in a unanimous vote by the N.C. General Assembly, which at that time included the current Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican.

“They want to move power from the coast to the Piedmont,” Basnight said in the letter, “and, as these flyers have shown, are perfectly willing to lie to achieve their goals.”

Shortly after winning reelection, Basnight resigned because of health issues. He has since maintained a quiet private life and avoids interviews.

Cliff Ogburn, Nags Head town manager, said that as a public investment, the pier project owes its success to a multitude of donors – for example, the hundreds of people who paid to sponsor fish-shaped planks, benches, picnic tables and even telescopes that are on the pier — and cooperative efforts from numerous private and public entities.

“I think to make the state and the people who put money into the pier whole would be more than the fair market value,” he said.

Ogburn learned of Jennette’s potential sale when a television reporter called him after the House budget was released. “I said, ‘WHAT?” he recounted.

The town had not only invested time and money, he said, it entered a mutually-beneficial partnership with the state.


This young fisherman hauls fishing rods and coolers down Jennette’s Pier. More than 80,000 people have paid to fish off the pier. Photo: Jennette’s Pier

“We never dreamed that it would be such a short-term agreement,” Ogburn said.

In a June 12 letter to Tine, Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards stressed the town board’s opposition to the proposed sale, and said that in its agreement with the state, it was assured that the pier would be used for education, public beach access, stormwater management, environmental conservation and other public functions.

“Selling the pier to a private entity would commercialize this important public property and betray its intended use,” Edwards wrote.

Even David Griffin, director of the N.C. Aquariums, had no head’s up about the Jennette’s proposal. “We’ve been a little baffled,” he said about the genesis of the provision.

Jennette’s, with an operating budget of $1.16 million, is close to being self-sustaining, he said, with most of its costs covered by admission fees, Aquarium Society support and revenue from programs, fishing and pier entrance fees.

“That was part of goal when we set out – not to need tax dollars to run it,” he said.

Griffin said that Jennette’s has achieved what the aquariums intended: to provide public beach access, maintain a year-round public fishing pier with competitive fees, incorporate sustainable environmental practices and provide educational programs for the public and research opportunities for coastal scientists.

“I think we have been successful,” Griffin said.

A visit to Jennette’s Pier on a sunny late spring day is all the evidence a defender of the state attraction should need.  The parking lot was bustling with cheerful people loading and unloading beach chairs and umbrellas and boogie boards. On either side of the pier, children and adults of all ages frolicked in the surf under the watchful eye of a lifeguard; others just relaxed in the sun or under their umbrellas, dozing or people-watching.

On the pier, people lined the rails with their fishing rods or enjoyed a stroll. Some sat on one of the many benches provided along the wooden deck of the fishing pier and took in the ocean view.

Laura Eakman, visiting from Fenelton, Pa. with her daughter, was perturbed to hear that Jennette’s faced the prospect of being sold. “Oh, no! It would probably be to some oil company from overseas,” she said, while fishing off the end of the pier. “That would be a shame. This is something that the public should be able to enjoy. It’s beautiful – so peaceful and calm. Why would they even think of doing it?”

But Chandler Olsen, a Manteo resident, looked at the proposal pragmatically. “If it’s not making money, who’s going to buy it?” he said. “If they tried to sell it, I don’t know who would buy it.”

Pier manager Mike Remige said that since opening in 2011, the pier has held 860 fishing programs, teaching 14,400 people not only to fish, but to fish ethically. From opening day, more than 80,000 people have paid to fish off the pier.

Last year, almost 302,000 people visited the pier, Remige said.  So far, pier visitation through May is 240,328, but about 900,000 people have been estimated to have visited the overall site, which would include accessing the beach at Whalebone Junction.

All summer long the pier also offers popular educational day camps for visitors and week-long camps for residents, he said.  During the school year, the pier hosts visiting school children: a total of 10,500 so far.

Significant revenue also comes from renting the facility for about 75 weddings and 20 conferences or meetings a year.

Garry Oliver, the owner of nearby Outer Banks Fishing Pier, said he initially saw Jennette’s as direct competition, and it did siphon off about half of his fishing business. But Oliver adapted by building an outdoor bar, expanding his food operation and providing entertainment, all of which have been very popular.

If this new version of Jennette’s went into private hands, he said, it would create a substantial competitive disadvantage for local businesses.

“It’s become an important part of the town now,” Oliver said. “It’s invigorated Whalebone Junction. If it goes into private hands, that means they will do what we do…  That thing was never meant to be anything other than a state-owned facility.”

But if the state is hell-bent to sell Jennette’s, he said, it should give first shot to the county or the town.  “It’s an asset to the community,“ Oliver said.







Edited by Rick - 09 April 2019 at 4:45pm
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NC Fisheries Management- Motto: Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad   Slogan: Shrimp On! Mission Statement: Enable Commercial Fishing At Any and All Cost, Regardless of Impact to the Resource.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2019 at 6:07pm
Robert Goldstein wrote a book back in the 80's about fishing the (2) Carolinas' coast from the beach, bridges and piers. He chronicled the histories of each of the original 48 piers along the beaches of both states, an impressive bit of research and writing if we disregard Rick's voluminous work here in fisheries data, but Bob did a great service in educating the public to gain access to a few of our waterways without a boat. A main point one receives in reading the book is that ALL those piers were repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt using private funds and by individuals and companies seeking a profit by which to justify the continuing process of keeping the piers in existence in the face of ocean storms. Does this mean that the government should have taken over all the piers before they passed on into history? Does principle change because the contractor said 1800 jobs would be created, which was demonstrated to be a massive LIE? I fished the piers in crazed earnest for years as a young man, and enjoyed the fish, the varied cultures on each different pier, and, yes, the opportunity to have access that I didn't have otherwise, but does that mean that our state should be in the business of operating businesses that should be the purview of private owners and operators? In the cold light of economic demagoguery by Basnight, et al, and the fact that the state, under Basnight, mind you, took every opportunity to maintain healthy fish populations and sold it to the millionaires who control the estuary, and poof, we get the red herring that they GIVE us access to the water because they run a concrete boutique that so pleases the socialist crowd that they forget that the whole thing was viable under private control, until local conditions were left to dwindle and wither, because of crazy beach house speculation and the state having purposefully driven the fishery's condition into the toilet. Most people are ignorant about the resource we had. To say it's just great policy to have the pier misses the fact that it's better policy to ethically manage what one is given by nature, especially when the state would try to make you believe that is their intent. The state used our fisheries, AND the pier to drive a boondoggle stake right on up the citizen's ailmentary canal. It is our responsibility to properly respond to these con jobs that our would be rulers have so eloquently pushed--- with the ol'Bronx Cheer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Get Bowed Up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2019 at 7:18pm
Definitely not advocating the state getting into the pier business. Not sure how possible recover funds to HELP repair damages relates to Jennettes, but even that pier, the 2 dozen or so times I've gone out there, was full of fishers of all ages. The experience and access that is at the core of Rec fishing may have no trackable value

So again I'd rather help keep (repair) what's here than see
"...the pier at risk of being demolished and replaced by a hotel or luxury homes.."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2019 at 8:01am
I'd rather see recovery $ go to things like helping rebuild piers than letting folks in rental houses upgrade their appliances after a storm.   My understanding is after one of the recent storms lots of Dare county beach rentals took advantage of the "free" money to upgrade things with money that was intended to help those that lost appliances. Real estate folks took advantage of the money and shared with their clients before the impacted locals could do it and thus many were left refrigeratorless when the pot of money ran out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2019 at 9:29am
I will stand on my case that these things are boondoggles. The concentric circles of greed, fascillitated by policians and pushed by residents, realty companies and the so called civic minded are still just that. Oh, maybe boondoggle is a big word for some of the deals that go down, so let's call those refrigerators greedy little sweetheart deals. The point is, individuals should pay for the indemnification of their possessions, etc. , but the political types want to be seen as Jesus, and reaping power is their business. On the higher numerical scale, but utterly analogous are those stadium deals many cities get hoodwinked into. Absolute abuse of government power to aggrandize politicians and millionaires at the hugely damaging expense of the tax paying working class who doesn't benefit from the public/private money hose pumping dollars to enrich and glorify criminality, swindlers and thugs. Here in N.C., the first swindle though, is they boondoggle the very fish away, hoodwink people into beach houses saying the fishing is great (thereby lying because no effort is placed into conserving fish for that sector of the private tourist economy) just props for the real estate business and restaurants, and the people who would naturally gravitate here for angling are just turds in basnight's punch bowl, or skinner's , and the trick is for the DMF and MFC to structure the lie in so Byzantine a form that people live and die and no actual resource conservation sees the light of day, right here along this beach! I suppose all that status, money and backslappin' makes dying OK, even as one's legacy centers on what a guy did to facillitate the boondogglin', and the destruction of the resource, even though a lot of people suffer from those boondoggles and write about it. What other states celebrate and make sacrosanct the actors who sell their natural assets down the road?
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